Greetings from France

by Noë van Bergen, winner of the Egemin ie-net Award 2013

I thought it would take me longer but the notebook I told about in my first post is already full. Apparently, I witnessed a lot of interesting things worth writing about during the two weeks I spent in France walking through the three main disciplines of the French group: project management, commerce & sales and maintenance & support.

In the first part I joined an E’GV start-up. I had been warned that confrontation with unexpected difficulties is part of the start-up phase. In that aspect, my introduction couldn’t have been better since we were not spared this kind of inconveniences. As the picture shows, I was not the only curious one out there. Luckily most of the issues have been solved in the meanwhile and the seven E’GVs are performing well.

Honestly, when I started at Egemin my interest in sales was rather low. However I get increasingly fascinated by finding exactly the solution that satisfies a customer’s needs. Strategy, experience and a good understanding of the client’s situation play an important role in the commercial process.

The maintenance is the last step in a projects life cycle, ensuring that the system keeps running over time. In a non-conditioned warehouse while snowing outside, doing a maintenance turns out to be a pretty freezing enterprise. For me it was nice to get in touch with the different components of an E’GV by opening up the vehicle for inspection. Moreover, the customer owns four different types of vehicles, including some really big ones!

Working in France involves many hours in the road too, as I experienced traveling between the areas around Antwerp, Nancy, Lyon, Paris and Geneva. This however is something you forget visiting the picturesque old centre of Nancy enjoying a good meal and, at this time of the year, a Beaujolais Nouveau.

Meanwhile the new Egemin ie-net award 2014 has been launched for all last year engineering students. As I did in my speech at the ie-net job train event, I wish them all the best in their last but heavy year of study and I strongly recommend each of them with a fascination for automation to seize upon their chance in the competition! More information can be found here.

Soon I will head to Bremen, Germany, with a brand new notebook, one without traces of coffee and chicken curry. I will keep you up to date.